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Medical professionals gather to talk about the future of healthcare

  • Published
  • By J.D. Levite
  • Air Force Surgeon General’s Public Affairs
The 2016 AMSUS Continuing Education Meeting is underway at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor. AMSUS is the Society of Federal Health Professionals and has members throughout the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and the private sector. The convention runs from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2 and features military and civilian medical professionals who have gathered to discuss the status of healthcare today and share some of the best ways to improve it in the future.

“We came to get scientific updates on areas of interest. We came to hear our federal leaders talk about who they are and where they're going and why they fight and how they work together,” said retired Vice Adm. Mike Cowan, the executive director of AMSUS and a former Navy Surgeon General. “AMSUS is always looking into the future. Medicine has changed. And as we have become increasingly interdependent on one another, AMSUS is looking to be more in the 21st century.”

He then introduced Lt. Gen. Mark Ediger, the current Air Force Surgeon General, who is also the Honorary President of AMSUS for 2016. During his opening speech, Ediger said “AMSUS for us encompasses the full aspect of medical support to those serving our nation and members of the armed forces. And it is a rare opportunity to convene expertise that's truly focused on the health and performance of those who serve and their families.”

Ediger said military medicine has made historic strides over the last 15 years and it has done so by being a learning system that examines and analyzes data. He added, “We recognize there are more opportunities ahead to save lives and improve outcomes. These are certainly great opportunities to move forward together and make a positive difference.”

Over the course of the week, the group gathered at this convention center will cover topics ranging from suicide prevention to tobacco cessation to electronic medical records. There are exhibits from more than 100 agencies, including the Air Mobility Command’s exhibit on en route medical care featuring a version of their transportation isolation system.

Congressman Joe Heck said during his keynote address, “The theme of this annual meeting is 'raising the bar,' meaning we need to do even better than we are today. Where we are today is really just a starting point, not a finish line. We need to not rest on our laurels of what we've been able to accomplish but look forward as to where we need to go to continue to try to provide the best quality healthcare services across the federal healthcare enterprise.”

USAF. (U.S. Air Force Graphic by Rosario "Charo" Gutierrez)